Rally Celebrates God, Hope And Military
Officials are estimating as many as 650,000 individuals flocked to the stairs of Lincoln Memorial and surrounding area of the National Mall to hear words of inspiration and pay homage to the military as part of the “Restoring Honor” rally organized by conservative radio and television talk show host Glenn Beck.
Some in attendance chose to make the trip to Washington, D.C., a mini-vacation of sorts, coming several days in advance to lay claim to the perfect location that would allow them visibility to an array of special guests and speakers including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Special Operations Warrior Foundation President John Carney Jr., United States Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell and Major League Baseball player Albert Pujols.
Others, however, made the journey on August 28 by bus, motorcycle and eventually by Metro and on foot. Those individuals were greeted near the Washington Monument by a banner and loud speaker system airing the historic “I have a dream” speech made exactly 47 years ago by Martin Luther King Jr.
King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, made a guest appearance during the rally and publicly spoke about her uncle and his “dream” from 1963 in spite of the fact many crit- ics felt Beck was “hijacking King’s legacy” by holding the event on the historic day. Meanwhile, civil rights activists overseen by Rev. Al Sharpton conducted a counter rally at a nearby high school and trekked to a site located along the Tidal Basin where a monument is slated to be constructed in King’s honor. The activists, which reportedly numbered in the several thousands, and some rally participants reportedly crossed paths during the event, resulting in exchanged words and heckling.
In reaching out to the crowd from Lincoln Memorial, Beck stated America is currently at a crossroads. Using a message intertwined with “faith in God, hope in our nation, and charity for our fellow man,” Beck said, “Something is happening here today ... Today we are going to concentrate on the things we have accomplished and the things we will do tomorrow.”
“Hope, faith and charity. This is our direction. This is where we’re going. We need to look for those things in ourselves and in one another,” he said.
Beck went on to speak of God and asked for both restoration and reconciliation and pointed out, “He will honor those who honor Him.” “We will be one nation under God,” noted Beck, who was greeted by a round of thunderous applause and cheers.
Beck welcomed John Carney Jr., president of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF), which is “devoted to providing a college education to every child who has lost a parent while serving in Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Special Operations during an operational or training mission.” Through the event, merchandise sales and donations totalling more than $5 million was raised for SOWF.
“Our fighting men and women do things we don’t even want to think about. They do it in their sleep. They do it at play because its their job. It’s what we’ve asked them to do,” Beck said.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin followed up on Beck and Carney’s comments, stating, “We must restore America and our honor ... I’m not speaking as a politician today. I’m speaking as something much more – the mother of a soldier.”